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  • Felicia Lyon

Embrace the Climb: How Women Can Scale the Corporate Ladder Differently

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

When looking at current and former women CEOS, the global consulting firm Korn Ferry found most of them did not initially set out to be CEO. What was interesting in the findings is that the majority of these high-powered women were laser-focused on company results, as opposed to focusing on personal success. And that's how they were able to climb that corporate ladder and make an impact.

But, imagine if we can change the game? What if we look beyond doing an exceptional job, and see how we can step into our full potential and conquer the corporate ladder climb with intention? And what if being more intentional in our career actually allows us more time for our lives outside of work?

Taking the reins of your career can help you see the opportunities ahead of you and then set goals to make the opportunities happen. To even the playing field for women at work — and take our turn on the proverbial ladder — we must work with an intention to achieve positions in leadership, rather than wait for the eventual opportunity to possibly be handed to us.

But what does that really look like?

Decide what YOU want to get out of your career

What does success look like to you? What work motivates you to get out of bed each morning? Take the time to really ask yourself these questions. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? In 10 years? What about that excites you? What about that scares you (be honest!). You can define the path to get you there.

Examine Your Behaviors

It’s often the little things we do or don’t do each day that make the difference in what direction our lives lead. By taking an in-depth look at our daily habits and behaviors, we can filter out obstacles that are impeding our current traction toward our goals.

Many self-limiting behaviors seem necessary at first, such as striving for perfection and pleasing others. However, upon reflection, it’s easy to see how these habits can actually act as a hindrance.

Other toxic behaviors include:

● Self-sabotage

● Playing it safe

● Fear of failure

● Not tracking your success

● Being easily distracted or discouraged

Develop Motivational Strategies

Rising to a position of leadership takes energy, hard work, and dedication. Rarely does someone ascend without moments of disappointment or burnout. Continuing to work through those tough moments is what lands men and women squarely in the seat of power.

And perhaps, that in itself is your motivation: power.

Or maybe it’s financial freedom. The space to make creative decisions. Whatever your “why,” develop related strategies to keep you motivated, such as task-oriented rewards for yourself or your family, daily mantras, or visuals that keep your goals at the forefront of all your actions throughout the day.

History has proven that the path has always been paved with green lights and blinking, upward pointing arrows for men in corporate America, most of whom never had any intention of standing still in the first place. Fortunately, now is the time to finally redefine what ascending the corporate ladder looks like for women, as well. With our goals identified and strategies in place to empower our actions, we too can move with intention towards the corner office overlooking the city skyline. Or however “success” is defined for you. After all, you are finally in the driver’s seat.

I’ll discuss additional strategies to work with an intention to achieve leadership positions in future articles, including the need to clarify the conditions that help you thrive, how to be your authentic self, and the importance of gaining self-mastery.

Interested in learning other ways to increase your leadership capabilties? Join me at March's Society Workshop where we will deep dive into communicating with impact. Click on the image below to register today!